Never has Michael van Gerwen had a better opportunity to reach a PDC tournament final.
The Unibet World Darts Grand Prix has already provided a few shocks as we get ready for the quarter-finals in Dublin.
In the top of the draw, Phil Taylor’s stunning 2-1 defeat to Steve West in the first round shocked the darts world. But fellow seeds Peter Wright and Michael Smith also crashed at that stage, leaving Van Gerwen as the only seeded player in the top half of the draw.
The bottom half has also seen the seeds tumble, with Robert Thornton and James Wade out for the count. Gary Anderson slipped through to the quarters with a 3-1 win over Australia’s Kyle Anderson — but it’s the end of the road for Adrian Lewis, who went out to Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld.
So what can darts betting fans expect from the quarter-finals here at the Citiwest hotel? Let’s take a look at the four match-ups.
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Dutch sensation Michael van Gerwen may have a bit of work to do here to get past an inspired Simon Whitlock. While Van Gerwen romped past James Wilson 3-0 in the second round of this darts championship, Whitlock fought off a comeback from Alan Norris to win 3-2 on the final leg of the match. It was a classic encounter in Dublin and the Australian will have taken heart from it heading into this clash.
However, in reality this is Van Gerwen’s match for the taking. It’s best of five sets once again in the quarter-finals and Van Gerwen is 2.10 to win 3-0. He remains favourite at 1.53 to win the Unibet World Darts Grand Prix and that price will only drop by Friday, so back him now!
Dave Chisel v Daryl Gurney
Daryl Gurney may not believe his luck here. The Northern Irishman avoided drawing a seed in round one, beat Phil Taylor’s victor Steve West in round two and now faces Dave Chisnall, who endured a mixed time of it at the oche in his 3-1 win over Brendan Dolan on Wednesday night. Chisnall is the clear favourite here at 1.36 and is a good price at 3.50 to win 3-1 again. However, Gurney boasts a W4 L2 record over Englishman Chisnall. Gurney is certainly no darting powerhouse but he is dangerous and Chisnall must be on his game here.
Gary Anderson (2) v Kim Huybrechts
It’s easy to side with the reigning world champion and higher seed Gary Anderson on this one — and punters can get 1.34 on the Scot to win on Thursday. However, Belgian Kim Huybrechts does have form in this head-to-head and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Huybrechts has, in fact, won his last three matches against Anderson and at 3.30 he isn’t a bad shout if you’re seeking a high-odds upset. Huybrechts averaged 98.47 in his 3-0 stuffing of Stephen Bunting in the last round of the darts championship and if he finds that form again could be unstoppable.
Benito van de Pas v Raymond van Barneveld
This clash is anyone’s game and Raymond van Barneveld’s 1.44 price as favourite is down to his legend as much as his form. Everyone wants to see Barney at the top once again but Benito van de Pas is in fine form. He took out Terry Jenkins in the last round 3-1 despite throwing a lower average. That proves just how clinical this Dutchman is when he needs doubles. Barney must be at his best here and he does have a 100% record against Van de Pas from four meetings, which should give him confidence of reaching the semi-finals.